National Western Center’s Livestock Exchange Building to be Reimagined

Photo rendition courtesy of Thomas Ellis.

A consortium of stakeholders including EXDO Development, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, and the National Western Center Authority, have revealed plans to revive the iconic 125-year-old Livestock Exchange Building, located at 4701 Marion Street at the National Western Center, into The Exchange, a contemporary working mercantile and commercial hub with a bold vision to reimagine the modern working West. 

The development team has partnered with Natural Object to lead the project’s positioning and development. Stantec is the architect of record. The team’s objective is to return the building to its original purpose and grandeur. Its Classical Revival architecture will be celebrated through the restoration of the original red and blonde brick facade, massive Ionic entry columns, grand staircase, and central pyramidal skylight. 

“The Exchange is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to honor the history of a significant place by embracing its future. We are building a cultural crossroads and a center of innovation. The Exchange will be a home base within the National Western Center for the next generation of Western industry,” said Andrew Feinstein of EXDO Development. “We are proud to bring this icon back to life.”

The Livestock Exchange Building was the epicenter of the livestock trade in Colorado from 1898 until the 1950s, standing as an early beacon of commerce and prosperity. The Exchange preserves this historic landmark for future generations while celebrating Denver’s pioneering spirit.

“The Exchange is the cornerstone of the state’s development. The cattle industry was a pivotal, if not the most significant, driving force behind the state’s growth. Today, agriculture is the number two industry in Colorado, with the cattle sector being its largest component. Reviving this historic building honors the cattle industry, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the National Western Stock Show, and Colorado’s rich western heritage,” said Robert Farnum, president at Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. 

For decades, the Livestock Exchange Building bustled with ranchers, financiers, regulators, and commissioners. Offices, a bank, a saloon, a newspaper, a radio station and a barbershop were all located in the building, allowing all facets of the livestock trade to be conducted under one roof. By the early twentieth century, cattle and livestock trading represented the largest industry in Colorado, with daily receipts sometimes totaling over a million dollars. The Exchange is also closely associated with the history of the National Western Stock Show, an annual event held each January since 1906 by the Western Stock Show Association.

Maintaining this legacy, The Exchange will act as a dynamic hub for the next evolution of traditional Rocky Mountain industries, including agriculture, food, water, and energy, alongside Western-heritage restaurants and artisan retailers. EXDO Development plans to announce The Exchange’s anchor tenants in the coming months. 

“We are thrilled to embark on the journey of reimagining the Livestock Exchange Building at the National Western Center as a dynamic central hub of commerce,” CEO of the National Western Center, Brad Buchanan said. “Its storied history and prime location make it an ideal catalyst for economic growth and community engagement. We look forward to restoring its vibrancy and welcoming businesses and visitors alike to this iconic landmark once again.”

The Exchange’s three connected wings, originally constructed in 1898, 1916, and 1919, will be phased in construction. Work has already begun with a historically sensitive window and masonry restoration of the buildings. Construction is slated for completion in late 2025, with plans to open ahead of the National Western Stock Show in January 2026. 

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